Sara Wheeler

Too clever by half

There’s not one likeable character in a novel that centres around the sort of extravagant lifestyle favoured by rich Russsians in London

This book — the title is from Pasternak —is billed as ‘literary fiction’. The narrator, a Russian gambler and drinker who has settled in the West, leaves his rich American wife of two decades when he falls hard for a Russian prostitute he meets in London (‘the first and last love of my life’).

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in